Oregon’s Multnomah County Library has an extensive zine collection and I attended the official opening of their zine section at the central library in downtown Portland. In case you haven’t heard of zines (short for magazine), they’re essentially self-published printed works that can be on any topic but are distributed on a small scale. Portland just happens to be a mecca for zines, but I’ll save that for another post.
Some of the library’s staff who are very enthusiastic about self-publishing and the DIY spirit of zines formed the Zine Library Group to ensure independent work is reflected in the library’s offerings. In their words, zines “present unique information and points of view; local zines preserve details of our regional history and culture; and zinesters (people who write, edit, and produce zines) are part of the vibrant literary and artistic life of Multnomah County.”
Not only have they created an extensive circulating collection available at multiple branches, librarians are continuously taking suggestions for zines to acquire, especially ones produced locally. Yay librarians!
In an audio interview I spoke with staff members Sara Ryan and Emily-Jane Dawson, as well as young zine reader.